Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988

Dave Harper

If you lose or find an animal in Placitas area, call the Animal Hotline at 867-6135. The Hotline is a nonprofit service run by Dave and January Harper to help reunite lost and found pets. Placing a Lost or Found in the Animal Hotline is a free service courtesy of the Signpost—we can sometimes even include a photo. Call Dave and January at 867-6135 or 263-2266 and leave a detailed message, or email the Animal Hotline at: (but call, too).


No entries this month !
All animals have gone home.
Happy February!

—January and Dave Harper


Animal News


Lalo’s pet prints:

Lalo loves to receive your pet and animal photos to print in the Signpost.
Email them to “Lalo” at:
Or mail prints to: Signpost, P. O. Box 889 Placitas, NM 87043

Lalo: Look who came to dinner. —Bruce MacLauchlan

Lalo: Look who came to dinner. —Bruce MacLauchlan

Illegal trapping causes bobcat’s loss of life.

Bobcat mangled by illegal trap, later euthanized

~Signpost Staff

Placitas resident Chris Landers went into her horse barn and saw a bobcat resting on a pile of hay. Looking closer, she saw there was a trail of blood leading to where the bobcat was lying; the cat had a steel trap on its hind leg.

She called Sandoval County Animal Control, but was told that wild animals such as bobcats were out of their jurisdiction. So, she contacted the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish that dispatched representatives who arrived at Landers house and darted the bobcat with a tranquilizer. They determined that the cat’s back leg was too mangled from the trap for survival in the wild, and removed the cat from Landers property to be euthanized.

Landers said, "This was the worst thing I have ever seen in my life. It was so terribly sad to see this beautiful animal suffer."

Though it is legal in New Mexico for licensed hunters to trap bobcats during open season from November through mid-March, trappers must use traps that are permanently marked with either a CIN number, a Trapper ID number, or the trapper's name and address and follow strict hunting rules. There are specific location requirements to place traps so as not to endanger residents and domestic animals on private property and on public easements.

This particular trap that caused the euthanasia of the bobcat had no identification on it. Some residents believe this trap was placed in an illegal location, as well, since blood was found in the nearby Las Huertas Creek arroyo.

Landers told the Signpost that Game and Fish would like the public's assistance in finding the person who set this illegal trap so they can prosecute. If you know of or suspect anyone, or possibly someone in or near the Cedar Creek area of Placitas, who may have set this unmarked trap, call the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish at 505-476-8066.

A participant and his dog first meet the rattlesnake

On the follow-up portion of the clinic, with the dog sensing the rattler in a new position, the dog almost pulls his owner to the ground to avoid the snake.

Rattlesnake avoidance clinic for dogs

~Tom Mauter, Central New Mexico Brittany Club

Nine species of rattlesnakes live in New Mexico. CNMBC members and our Brittanys have encountered rattlers from rural areas to residential courtyards across New Mexico. For our dogs’ safety, we have hosted Rattlesnake Avoidance Clinics for Dogs annually since 2014. More than 350 dogs have participated.

Terry and Janet Chandler, owners of Rugerheim Kennels in Las Cruces, conduct these clinics. They are top-tier trainers of quality hunting and competition dogs with forty-plus years experience. They have conducted these clinics throughout the southwest for more than 25 years with exceptional results.

Proper and careful preparation is critical to render the rattlesnake harmless. This includes removal of multiple sets of fangs, ensuring protection of the snake and dogs.

Terry strives to achieve the “perfect interaction” with the dog scenting, hearing, seeing, and touching the snake. The “touching” includes coming in proximity to the rattler. E-collar stimulation is administered on the “touch.“

After stimulation, the dogs return to see the snake to embed the association of what caused the frightening shock. Later, the dog is brought back without the e-collar to see if it will approach the snake. None of the dogs want anything to do with that rattlesnake. Commonality of scent among the thirty some species of rattlesnakes make this training work for all breeds of dogs, irrespective of the type of rattler.

CNMBC will host these clinics on March 25 in West Mesa, Rio Rancho. Hourly sessions begin at 8:00 a.m.

For further information, visit Central New Mexico Brittany Club, contact Tom Mauter at 505-466-6511, or email

Pueblo of Laguna granted Federal authority to protect water quality, aquatic life, wildlife

~Joe Hubbard, U. S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is granting the Pueblo of Laguna, NM, authority to administer its own water quality standards and certification programs under the Clean Water Act. Laguna is the 54th tribe of 567 federally recognized tribes nationwide to receive authority over their water quality standards and certification programs.

The Pueblo will protect public health, aquatic life, and wildlife for five hundred thousand acres that includes portions of the Rio San Jose, the Rio Paguate, Water Canyon Creek, Encinal Creek, the Rio Puerco, the Rio Salado, and wetlands, ponds, springs, and additional streams.

Under the Clean Water Act, a tribe must be federally recognized, have a governing body, jurisdiction, and capability in order to administer a water quality standards program. EPA’s approval of the tribe’s water quality standards program application is not an approval or disapproval of the tribe’s standards. EPA will review and take action on the tribe’s water quality standards in a separate agency action.

The goal of the Clean Water Act includes restoring and protecting the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters. Water quality standards established under the Clean Water Act set the tribe’s expectations for reservation water quality. These standards also serve as water quality goals for individual surface waters, guide and inform monitoring and assessment activities, and provide a legal basis for permitting and regulatory pollution controls.

For more information on Tribal eligibility applications to administer EPA regulatory programs, visit

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